Monday, May 11, 2009


As in bees. As I mentioned before, I spruced up my deck with some new plants. My ones from the fall were looking a bit shabby... and I also saw an ad in a magazine about saving the honeybees. I am not sure how much of the honeybee problem is due to lack of food/ flowers versus people using pesticides that the bees end up carrying back to the colony, which then gets destroyed. Taking a cue, I got "bee-friendly" plants and seeds, and I never use any pesticides. I love seeds because you can watch them grow from start to finish. It really is quite amazing...watching a little green sprout fighting it's way out of the soil to become a mature plant with flowers and fruit. And, they are more friendly on your pocketbook too since a whole packet with seeds enough for 20+ plants is only 2 bucks versus 5 dollars for the individual grown plant.
Anyhow, I learned that honeybees love flowers with lots of pollen like: sunflowers, geraniums, catnip, rosemary, lavender, poppies, honeysuckle, daisies, salvia...the list goes on and on. Also, bees cannot see colors like red or orange ( I guess drawn to these flowers by fragrance) but instead see high wavelenth colors like blue, violet and even UV range, white flowers.
My balcony can only fit so many plants on it and these are the ones I remembered/ store had/ I bought. (careful with the sunflower varieties though....some are pollenless, so the bees end up getting attracted to it and wasting energy looking for food that is even there). I got a few different types of is the mammoth species. This gets about 12 feet tall and has sunflower heads of about 2 feet diameter! crazy. Ok, well here are some pics of my balcony in its current state.

on the stool is a moss rose - a tumbing vine plant
in the first hanging basket are some herbs: catnip, rosemary and lavender
the box: nasturtiums (seeds) which is a vine. I am hoping it will grow over the railing and trail down. Bees and hummingbirds love these colorful, fragrant flowers. They are edible too! There is also a geranium in that box.
in the second hanging basket: sweet potato vine

There is that sweet potato vine again
more geraniums and nasturtiums in the window box
In the square pot: I also got a jasmine vine...I couldn't resist the smell!

a closeup of some of my geraniums

sunflower sprouts! (from 3 seed packets for mammoth, citrus and a variety pack)

They came up so fast, it only took a couple days. Once they get bigger, I will transplant some to the ground underneath my balcony where I can still water them, they will have room and sun to grow, and hopefully drop their seeds to start a sunflower haven down in that green belt!

My first nasturtium sprout. Can you see it? I had three more pop up yesterday!

Ramses likes to help me outside

Yes, his name is officially Ramses. He is like a toddler, always putting things in his mouth and chewing on them...I guess taste is his sense of preference. He loves coming outside with me and exploring around on the deck. I just can't turn my back on him too long....I caught him just before he started chomping on some of my sunflower sprouts!

For now, this little balcony garden will have to suffice. I hope bees and hummingbirds will come regularly once my flowers bloom. I can't wait to have a yard with a real big garden, and if it was big enough, I'd consider keeping bees. homegrown honey and hand-made beezwax candles sound nice. =)

1 comment:

GAWms said...

You are such a delight.